Featured Artist: Michelle Galli, Depoe Bay, OR

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Michelle Galli

Born and raised in California I spent most of my vacations at the seaside.  My love of the ocean inspired my move to the beautiful Oregon coast when I retired.  I have always been involved in arts and crafts and have played with multiple mediums from oils and acrylics to polymer clay, sewing and cake decoration. I was particularly infatuated with the translucent nature of glass with it’s brilliant colors and with the sparkle of dichroic glass.

 

I started fusing and making my own jewelry after taking a class at the local community center.  That 1st class was more than 25 years ago.  What  started as a hobby has progressed to a passion for glass and a creative outlet that provides art therapy and intriguing challenges. I have taken classes with many talented glass artists and am looking forward to attending more when the pandemic subsides.  I find that I am continually learning new things and love that my fellow glass artists are so willing to share information.

I find endless inspiration in the marine environment, and by all of the colors, textures, shapes, & designs found in nature. I use primarily Bullseye glass which is made locally in Portland Oregon.  This was another perk of moving up here.  I can drive to Bullseye glass factory. 

I use various techniques including hand painting enamels, copper inclusions, and multiple kiln firings at different temperatures to create my pieces. I am so fortunate to live in a beautiful area surrounded by nature and to have several glass buddies living close by.  We have lots of fun getting together, sharing information and experimenting with glass techniques. We always laugh and say “you can never have too much glass.”  We just need more time to play!


Featured Artist: Sandy Spear, Seattle, WA

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Sandy Spear from Seattle, WA

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN DOING GLASS WORK?
I started lampworking in about 2007, after having been a (part-time) potter for about 40 years. I’ve always worked in the art field, at galleries, museums, and other arts organizations. Now I am a retired graphic designer. But I still really like making things. When I started in glass, as a former potter, I assumed I would gravitate toward making functional objects. But I found that I prefer the freedom to just play with glass and bead designs and make whatever I want.


My work starts with individually made lampwork beads that I highlight in one-of-a-kind wearable art jewelry. The pieces have a recognizable style, featuring bold, distinctively graphic designs, giving each one a unique personality. I do not make the same pieces over and over, as I am always learning and practicing new techniques and color combinations. I strive for design cohesion and technical perfection in my work.

Tibet Barrel Style
Graduated Tibet Necklace
White on Black Coin Shape
Paladium Choker

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN GLASS?
When I realized I wasn’t going into my clay studio very much any more I decided to try other things and I took a couple of fusing classes. I realized my existing pottery kiln would not work for melting glass. But with my first bead making class I was hooked. In fusing the magic happens when you aren’t looking. The immediacy of the process of lampworking is really appealing.

I can make sets of beads that match, or make every single bead a different size, shape or style according to my mood. While there are always surprises upon opening the kiln after annealing, it’s negligible compared to the joys and disasters experienced upon opening a ceramic kiln. I like being confident that what I put in will be what comes out.

DO YOU HAVE A PRIMARY TECHNIQUE OR LOOK THAT YOU ARE KNOWN FOR?
Not necessarily, but pattern really appeals to me. I make beads in many styles. I enjoy making sets of beads with varying
patterns in the same color range and combining them in jewelry. I add elements of silver or onyx to the pieces to further emphasize the beads and to give each piece a unique personality. It was never my aim to make jewelry, but I find that I really enjoy it. It uses a different part of the brain, and is quite satisfying. I usually make beads that I like and then decide which beads go with others, old or new, then put them together — design ideas coming as I work on the jewelry. I also make tiny glass mobiles. It’s a challenge to make them balance, and great fun. But the mobile arms are quite small, because they are made on wires that have to be thin enough for me to bend. I’m trying to figure out how to make them more visible.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT DOING GLASS AND
WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND MOST CHALLENGING?

I enjoy the limitless possibilities in glass. There are so many colors! So many techniques!
I can keep learning and honing my skills, and never run out of ideas to try. It’s challenging to have an idea I can’t quite realize to my satisfaction, but I keep working on it, and even if I never achieve perfection, I learn something new anyway. Some colors react with others in interesting ways. Certain types of glass, mostly the “silver-reactives,” are expensive and challenging to master. But the results are worth the struggle. Silver-reactive glass can have rainbow, oil slick, iridescent or other beautiful effects and the beads have great depth.

Peachy Frosted Necklace
Red Brocade Lentil Necklace
Green Leaves Moblie

SpearStudiosGlass.com


Featured Artist: from Beaverton, Oregon Sharon Dunham

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Sometimes it is the simple boldness of geometric patterns or the contrast of images in black and white; other times it is the remarkable beauty of our colorful environment – people, landscapes and city-scapes – that captures her imagination.

Sharon has been involved in the Oregon (now Pacific NW) Glass Guild for many years serving in several board positions. She has participated in a number of local juried shows. Both the Oregon Convention Center and Travel Portland had commissioned her to create awards for OCC’s high end vendors and for its 20th Anniversary celebration in addition to having her develop an annual Twin Spires Award for Travel Portland.

Sharon was introduced to the world of stained glass during her college days in the 70’s in Eugene. After a long hiatus, she returned to creating glass art when she moved to Portland. More recently, she transitioned from cold glass to the art of kiln formed (fused) glass. Keeping true to her glass roots she currently teaches stained glass classes in her community. See more of Sharon’s work

Featured Artist: from Burien, Washington Lael Bennett

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Glass has been at the forefront of my world for 30 years. It started in 1991 when I took a stained glass class at Glass Expressions in Burien, WA (just south of Seattle). I fell in love with working with glass and in 1993 quit my job at Boeing and became a partner in the shop. A couple of years later I started exploring fusing glass and have been doing it ever since. I started teaching fusing at the shop and have always been eager to try every technique to expand my knowledge.

I have taken many classes from other glass artists over the years and am kind of a class junkie. We can never stop learning! I focused on creating and selling dichroic jewelry for many years. Exploration into reactive glass and silver led me to create a line of decorative plates and new jewelry styles. Now experimenting with the reactive glasses seems to find its way into every new technique I try

I teach beginning, reactive, and jewelry fusing classes. At Glass Expressions we sell fusing glass and supplies in addition to standard stained glass supplies. We also have kilns available for firing projects for customers that don’t have their own kilns. Glass Expressions has just become one of the guild’s sponsors. I will be participating in the Guild’s general meeting on July 18th at 2pm on the subject of Inclusions and Reactions !

Featured Artist: Winter 2020 Karen Seymour

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Karen Seymour sets up to fire icicles

Karen got started in glass in 1998 when she went looking for a table for her back yard and couldn’t find anything she liked so decided to build her own. The result was a 48″ glass on glass appliqué koi pond that had all her friends and relatives wanting one too. That led to teaching classes and publishing two pattern books. In 2013 she wanted to make a lava table but couldn’t figure out how to do it in flat glass so she got a kiln. Several other tables resulted, including one portraying an 18″ dichro ammonite fossil.

Snow Melt Lampshade, Karen Seymour
Maple Lampshade, Karen Seymour
Solar Lanterns, Karen Seymour

Featured Artist – Fall 2020 Lyn Kennison

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Lyn Kennison
Waterfall, Lyn Kennison

I started my path with creativity early by learning to sew and knit with my grandmother. Sewing lasted, knitting did not. The sewing of clothes flowed into quilt making, macramé, embroidery, wall hangings all using lots of color. An offer for a stained glass class captured my interest and passion and all the fabric related artistic endeavors flowed into stained glass, and glass quilt patterns on stepping stones then windows. The stained glass flowed into fusing glass. At first it was jewelry and small plates but soon became more. I was hooked and never looked back.

For the past 15 years I have been working with glass in some form: jewelry, abstracts, mosaics, fusing functional and nonfunctional pieces, garden art with lots of color. I have taken many classes from very talented people, world famous as well as locally famous. The Glass Guild has provided many opportunities for growth and learning. I’m still looking for my niche.I get inspiration from the outdoors in all the seasons, fabric designs, photographs, and other artists. I love putting colors together in different ways. Working in glass is often meditative and soothing and also frustrating and challenging. The best part is when you let go and let the glass tell you what it wants to do. As Thomas Merton once said “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time”. I’m still working on it.

Wisteria hanging flower pot
Lyn Kennison
Red Abstract, Lyn Kennison